Posts tagged ‘apostasy’

March 4th, 2012

Rumors of Pastor Youcef’s Execution are False

In this day and age of Twitter, rumors galore, even rumors of prominent people’s death. Saturday night was no exception. It was particularly shocking for some of us when tweets went out declaring the execution of Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been on death row for apostasy from Islam. Some believed the rumor and started sending out condolences. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before the America Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) put an end to the rumor with a tweet when its sources in Iran confirmed Pastor Youcef is alive. Here is a part of a post from Jordan Sekulow of ACLJ:

Reports that his execution occurred earlier today are false, and images being circulated purporting to be from his execution are outdated and demonstratively false.

The ACLJ still believes that the execution order has been issued, but we can confirm that as of today Pastor Youcef is still alive. International pressure continues to build on Iran.

I am writing a Yahoo! News article on the plight of Pastor Youcef, which might be published later this week. I have interviewed an official at the International Christian Concern (ICC) and Jerry Dykstra, the spokesperson of Open Doors USA. Please continue to pray for Pastor Youcef and all other believers who are in prison on account of their faith in Jesus Christ. Pray also for their loved ones. Thank you.

July 6th, 2011

Update: Conflicting Reports over Iranian Pastor’s Apostasy Case

There are conflicting reports over Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s apostasy case, Mission Network News reports. The AFP reported over the weekend Pastor Youcef was no longer on death row. Now it seems like he is still facing the death penalty but his case has been returned to the lower court where he would be given an opportunity to recant his conversion. Todd Nettleton of the Voice of the Martyrs told Mission Network News, “The reports over the last 24 hours are that, in fact, the Supreme Court did not uphold the death penalty. They sent the case back to the local court in his area where he would have the opportunity to recant, and if he did that, then the death sentence would go away.”

Please continue to pray for Pastor Youcef, his family and friends, Iranian Christians, his persecutors and all those who have heard or would hear about his case. A word of encouragement for Pastor Youcef and all Christians who face death for simply believing in Jesus Christ. He said in Matthew 10:28:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (ESV)

May God give strength to Pastor Youcef to withstand this pressure and the coming ultimatum. May he know he is His no matter his earthly fate in the hands of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

July 1st, 2011

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s Execution Imminent

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has been sentenced to death for apostasy faces execution any moment. Now that the Iranian Supreme Court has upheld his death sentence, he could be hanged anytime. Please pray for him, his loved ones, Iranian Christians, their oppressors and Iranian Muslims.

The international community needs to put pressure on the Iranian government and it starts with us. Similar death sentences were commuted in Afghanistan due to the international pressure.

Apparently, “Freedom to change one’s religion is a fundamental right which Iran pledged to uphold when it signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” The world should hold Iran accountable.

The workweek in Iran is Saturday to Thursday. The fact that it is the weekend in most countries doesn’t mean offices in Iran aren’t open. Please use Twitter, Facebook or whatever means is at your disposal to spread the word about Pastor Nadarkhani’s plight. His life should be spared and his freedom granted. Please pray for Pastor Youcef!

2 Corinthians 4:8-10: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

More information is available HERE.

December 10th, 2010

Cracks in the Crescent now a Google Edition eBook

Cracks in the Crescent (252 pages) is about Hussein Wario’s upbringing as a Sunni Muslim in Kenya, his conversion to Christianity and the ensuing persecution. It is now available as an ebook. You can read it  on the Web, Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Nook, Sony devices and other supported eReaders. To start reading, please click HERE. Thank you.

Here is a sampling of some of the reviews:

This book should be read by any and all Catholic clergy and laymen interested in Islam. While some of the information provided will call for great tact and sensitivity if shared with Muslim friends and acquaintances, it will readily furnish the needed resources and references required to help both Muslims and non-Muslims come to a clearer understanding of Islam and its growing influence in our world today. Dr. Philip Blosser, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Sacred Heart Major Seminar

…Elegantly written… The New Oxford Review

…Must read… The Standard Bearer

…Excellent… Rev. Otto Kaiser, Associate Professor of Religion, Global University (Assemblies of God)

If you are unfamiliar with Islam and its beliefs, this is an excellent book to have on hand. Christians should know what Muslims think about Christianity and the author has written a book unlike any other that I have read on the subject of Islam. This would also be an excellent book to give to Muslims because it shows quite clearly where they have been misinformed about Christians and in particular Jesus. If you have Muslim friends you want to get this book! Interviews & Reviews, Canada

The fact that it is autobiographical adds an important dimension that most books on Islam lack…. very special. Dr. R. Greenway, PhD, Professor of Missiology

Truly remarkable testimony of God’s grace… engaging and moving… Dr. Rex M. Rogers, PhD, President, SAT-7 USA

Hussein Wario is a Kenyan Christian of Sunni Muslim background. He blogs regularly here. You can listen to his testimony here or read it here.

November 1st, 2010

Why Do Christians Suffer in Muslim Majority Countries?

Christians, whether of Muslim background or not, keep on suffering at the hands of Muslims in Muslim majority countries. Here are a few cases:

Two brothers, Rahid Emmanuel and Sajjid Emmanuel, were gunned down in July in their native Pakistan on false charges of blaspheming Prophet Muhammad. The court found them innocent. Some Muslims took the law into their own hands and executed them.

Hector Aleem, another Pakistani Christian, has been jailed for more than a year and a half on another false blasphemy charge. Even when Hector is innocent of this charge, the judge cannot release him for fear of retribution. Muslims have been demanding for his execution. You can watch videos of their protest here and here.

A Christian of Muslim background, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, is languishing in an Iranian jail for over a year awaiting execution. He is accused of apostasy. Even the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has joined the push for his release from prison.

Muslims kill many Christians not necessarily for apostasy, blasphemy or proselytizing Muslims but for their mere presence, which is proof to their Muslim neighbors Islam is a colossal failure. Our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq have suffered greatly. Here is a report from the Associated Press; what happened in Baghdad defies any logic:

BAGHDAD – Iraqi security forces stormed a Baghdad church where militants had taken an entire congregation hostage for four hours, leaving at least 47 people dead, including a priest, Iraqi officials said Monday.

A cryptically worded statement posted late Sunday on a militant website allegedly by the Islamic State of Iraq appeared to claim responsibility for the attack. The group, which is linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, said it would “exterminate Iraqi Christians” if Muslim women in Egypt were not freed.

It specifically mentioned two women in Egypt that extremists maintain have converted to Islam and are being held against their will.

The Egyptian women are wives of priests that are believed to have converted to Islam to leave their husbands, since divorce is banned by the Coptic Church. One woman disappeared in 2004 and another in July of this year.

Egypt’s Christians maintained they had been kidnapped and demonstrated for their release. Both were later recovered by police, denied any conversions and were then spirited away to distant monasteries.

In the message, the militants claim the two are still Muslim and they called upon the Vatican, which held a meeting earlier in October to discuss the fate of Christians in the Middle East, to release the women.

The death toll has risen to 58. It defies any logic someone would go about killing people over assumptions. It is very possible these two Egyptian ladies “converted” to Islam against their will when Muslims held them captives. However, when they found their freedom, they “denied any conversions” to Islam. Isn’t that enough? Why do people have to die? And why would something that transpired in Egypt, which did not result in any loss of life, adversely affect Christians in Iraq?

Whatever happened to Muslims in the West’s argument Islam “supports” religious freedom? The deeds of their fellows in Muslim majority countries and the lack of prosecution of their crimes against non-Muslims prove there is no religious freedom or justice in Islam for a non-Muslim. Western Muslims are not demonstrating against these injustices. Perhaps they know the verse from the Qur’an they often quote, “There is no compulsion in religion,” indeed was abrogated and they are just fooling the unsuspecting.